Monday, August 27, 2012

Change

Today's gift is change.

Every school year I get a little nervous about the changes my daughter will have in school.....new teacher....new students....new work.  The day the teacher assignments arrive in our mailboxes, I am just as nervous as my middle daughter, as I want to make sure my daughter with Rett Syndrome has friends in her class too.  I want to protect her as long as I can.

Teacher assignments have arrived and she has two of her five closest friends in her class, with one still being an unknown!  I am super excited for her!  Fourth grade, they also start to change classes, so instead of one new teacher, she potentially has two new teachers and another set of classmates to add to the rotation.  I am confused just thinking about it!  My little girl is growing up....everything is changing too fast!

While my daughter may be nervous on the inside about starting school every year, you would never know it from the outside.  She walks into school like she owns the place and to hear everyone saying hi to her with the fist pump (the sign everyone knows for my daughter to say hi....long story!), truly melts my heart!  Thursday is meet the teacher day and while I am excited for my girls, I am also nervous.  I don't think a school year will ever come and go where I will not be nervous for them, but especially my oldest daughter.

Seeing how my daughter handles change head on, has helped me handle change in different areas of my life. A most recent example is,  my youngest is going to a new preschool for his last year of preschool this year as I was tired of driving an hour a day (total driving of taking and picking him up) in a three hour window.  He also wasn't able to take advantage of any after school activities as they were over at the same time I had to pick the girls up from school.  I would do anything for any of my children (hence driving so far for a preschool I loved), but there comes a time when I have to look at what I can change in my life to help me and those I can not change.  Changing preschools for his last year will allow me to have an extra hour a day...at least...for me to be able to do more for my family (and have some extra me time too....I will  not lie!) and he will be able to participate in programs offered after school!   He is super excited and didn't complain when I told him the news....had I only done this sooner!

I had a meeting tonight for my middle daughter's brownie troop and I was talking to another mother who also has a child, a son, with special needs.  We were talking about how the most important thing to both of us is not the academics our children get from school, but the socialization they get from their peers.  If my daughter learns academics...which she does above and beyond...this is an extra bonus, but what I want most for her is to have friendships.  I want her to be a kid and remember the happy times of going to school and what it was like to be with her friends.  When I look back at when I was in fourth grade, I don't remember the tests I took or the books I read, but I do remember what I did with my friends, who was my best friend and these were the best memories.  This is what I want for my daughter.

As she gets older and older, change is something I fear for her, but at the same time, change is also good.  Last year, she had a new teacher in her autism classroom and it was a BIG change, but a change for the BEST.  She had an incredible year!  I pray every year she will have this same "core" group of friends and they will continue to grow together, as will their friendship.  I pray I can approach change with the same calmness my daughter does and learn there are some things we can change and others we can not.  But in the meantime we will relax and enjoy the moment.

Here are some quotes for today....

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference- Reinhold Niebuhr

Always remember that the future comes one day at a time - Dean Acheson

You must be the change you wish to see in the world- Mahatma Gandhi

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance- Alan Watts


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